Tyson Fury returned to the ring in style with a thrill-a-minute fourth-round stoppage of Joey Abell at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday night.
The unbeaten Morecambe heavyweight knocked down the game American four times on the way to a victory that moved his record to 22-0 with 16 knockouts.
After 10 months out it was a classic Fury contest as he was caught with a couple of good shots before putting his foot on the gas to drop Abell twice in both the third and fourth rounds.
The 25-year-old worked well behind the jab early on before the contest developed into a slugfest with Fury getting the better of things, taunting the Minnesota man and playing to the crowd along the way.
Speaking to BoxNation after the fight, Fury said: “It felt good. I bring the action every time I fight.
“I was playing games in there. Joey Abell’s not at my level.
“I’m the best heavyweight on the planet.”
The victory was the first step on the road to a summer rematch with Dereck Chisora in a final eliminator for a shot at heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko.
And Fury’s trainer and uncle Peter Fury admitted that his man, who at 19st8, was his heaviest ever as a professional, was not at 100 per cent.
Peter said: “He is a world class heavyweight and doesn’t need to be 100 per cent for opponents like these.
“He took care of what he had to do.”
Promoter Mick Hennessy said: “For his first fight back after his horrendous year that was a dangerous opponent.
“He came to win and Tyson had to be smart and after working behind the jab he took him apart in style.
“Not many people after 10 months out would take an opponent like that and he deserves a lot of credit for that.
“We need to look for the right opponent for the next fight to get him ready for Chisora in the summer.”
Fury is expected to return to the ring in April.